Porcupine rescue!

Diana MacPherson from Ontario found a CBC video that I was able to embed here. Like many end-of-the-week videos, it shows a nice human rescuing an animal, in this case a North American Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) that got tipped over trying to climb a snowbank. Dexterously wielding an ice scraper, the nice Canadian woman (are those two adjectives redundant?) not only rights the hapless rodent, but digs it a ramp so it can get up the snowbank.

Good thing, too, as it seemed unable to get upright in the snow, leaving it with its unprotected belly exposed to predators.

Be sure to turn the sound on by clicking on the microphone icon at lower right.

The details:

Raelene Prieb lives between Yorkton and Melville [Saskatchewan]. She was on her way home on Monday when she spotted a porcupine in a turtle-like state, on its back and unable to get up.

Rather than pick the prickly rodent up with her hands, she instead grabbed her window scraper. The porcupine grabbed on and managed to roll over. When the porcupine was upright, it looked at the snowbank, which had presumably felled it. It attempted to scale it.

“I didn’t know if I should kinda push him up [the snowbank],” Prieb said. “I didn’t really want to touch him.”

The critter’s attempt did not go well and it tumbled back onto its backside. Prieb once again helped it up, then used the same scraper to clear a path through the snowbank, allowing the animal to finally get on its merry way.

When Prieb got home, she uploaded the video to her Facebook profile unedited, unaware that the settings for the video were set to public.

The video blew up.

At one point, she excitedly told her daughter that it had more than 5,000 views. It has since eclipsed 1.2 million.

As for why she thinks the video is so popular, she said people are drawn to a feel-good story.

“People need to see compassion and mercy and grace out there,” Prieb said.


  1. Posted March 23, 2018 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful! But, I still would have spent less time taking video footage. The little guy was frightened. That notwithstanding, bravo for her!

    • GBJames
      Posted March 23, 2018 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      Would not taking video have made him (her?) less frightened?

      • Posted March 23, 2018 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        No; but, it would have quickened his aid. I did applaud her, by the way…

        • GBJames
          Posted March 23, 2018 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

          I don’t think we know that. It took time to realize that it couldn’t make it without an assist. When she did realize, she helped.

        • Taz
          Posted March 23, 2018 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

          I don’t see how. She made the ramp as soon as she thought of it.

          • Posted March 23, 2018 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

            Oh dear, I am making no friends here. Sorry all; it was merely my opinion and I concede that I am not always right!

            • GBJames
              Posted March 23, 2018 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

              No problem!

            • infiniteimprobabilit
              Posted March 23, 2018 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

              I think you just made a lot of friends.

              “I concede that I am not always right!” is usually a winner. 😉


          • Taz
            Posted March 23, 2018 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

            I posted my response before I saw GBJames. Didn’t mean to pile on.

  2. Posted March 23, 2018 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    But, I loved the trail she made for him!!!!

  3. J. Quinton
    Posted March 23, 2018 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    OT: Anyone know what these three birds are?

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted March 23, 2018 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      Interesting. The intense play behavior of Orre and Tjäder (en: Grouse) is often remarked on; when they mistakenly choose a play area in villages they often end up shot because they can attack children.

      Dunno about the predator bird though, there are so many possibilities.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted March 23, 2018 at 4:25 pm | Permalink


    • Posted March 23, 2018 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      Capercaillie, and that’s a young golden eagle

      • Mike
        Posted March 24, 2018 at 9:19 am | Permalink


  4. Darren Garrison
    Posted March 23, 2018 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Approaching 4.5 million views at the time I watched it.

  5. Diana MacPherson
    Posted March 23, 2018 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    The squirming legs are so pathetic and adorable at the same time. Poor thing falling in for a second time! I probably would have tried to shove it up the snow banks which would have been a far worse experience for the porcupine. It’s nice that she noticed the poor guy on his back and pulled over to help. Lots of people would just keep driving by.

    • Posted March 23, 2018 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      Who knows how long he might have been that way. He looked exhausted! Poor little guy, good for her!

  6. Posted March 23, 2018 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    How do you milk a porcupine? ….

    …. carefully.

  7. Diane G.
    Posted March 23, 2018 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Very heart-warming! Thanks, Diana!

  8. Hempenstein
    Posted March 23, 2018 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Never knew they were rodents!

  9. Martin X
    Posted March 23, 2018 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    This poor creature is clearly not competent to survive on its own.

  10. Posted March 24, 2018 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Poor little animal, too scared to turn around as a farewell to that simple window scraper being used twice for unexpected charitable purposes…

  11. greybloon
    Posted March 24, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Canada may have all of Pennsylvania’s porcupines. They are a menace to anyone who is lucky enough to own a cabin in the middle of Penn’s Woods.

  12. David Coxill
    Posted March 24, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    I think “Oh no ,not again ” ran through his mind the second time he fell down .

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